In a blog that I wrote last year covering particularly the skills shortage that is likely to arise post-Brexit in the hospitality sector, I thought that a year on I would re-visit the topic, this time looking at potential staff shortages as a whole. It is vital that all industries consider the potential effects and plan for the future when free movement within the EU might be restricted.
A recent survey carried out by the City & Guilds Group and Esmi has revealed that 9 in 10 employers are already struggling to recruit the skilled staff that they require. If that is the case now, what will the picture look like in 4-5 years’ time? How will sectors already struggling to meet demand for skilled workers cope with a further reduction in the availability of talent available? Further recent research suggests that two thirds of UK employers believe that the skills gap is going to get worse over the next 5 years. So what measures can businesses put in place now to try to avoid the potential problems around the corner?
Recruitment of apprentices and modelling them in the way that your business works should be considered in all industries. The opportunity to plan a career path for many apprentices is the reason why they look at the apprenticeship scheme as a way of fulfilling their potential. If you are willing to put the right structure in place within your business to train, develop and nurture, you are in a position to upskill and advance those people to fill the potential gaps that will exist moving forward. Whilst there are stories of success and failure within the apprenticeship scheme, it is an avenue that should definitely be explored.
The appraisal process and target setting is key to the advancement of employees within your organisation. Without a plan/road map to advancement, how do you expect your employees to want to better themselves and improve their skill set to help fill the gap that you foresee around the corner? Spend the time to identify those personnel within your organisation who you feel are up to challenge and make sure that you set them a 5-year plan to management or whatever role is most likely to need filling. Without you pushing and encouraging them, the advancement wont happen and it is likely that in time they will leave as they are not being challenged sufficiently.
Encourage your management team to delegate work to members of their team to see how good they really are. Nothing gives employees more motivation that the positive feedback that they receive for doing a great piece of work. If you don’t give them that work in the first place then then you will never know how good they really are and neither will they. Encourage the team to grow and learn skills that they would never otherwise have had.
Promote from within
When employees within your organisation see others being promoted due to the great work that they have done, it should encourage others to want the opportunity to do the same. That motivation should lead employees to want to learn and impress you to want to promote them the next time an opportunity arises.
Never be afraid to invest in training. You should set a budget each year and create a training plan for each employee to ensure that they receive the relevant training required during the course of the year. Whether that is an Excel/Word advancement course, time management or an MBA, a key to closing the skills gap is to advance those that have the ability within your organisation to fill it.
Above are just a few ideas that should help in closing the skills gap. Working from within your organisation can also prove to be the most cost effective way of dealing with the issue.
If you are worried about Brexit and how it’ll affect your staffing levels, feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3146 1601. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn where I share business advice and insight. Our Twitter page also shares some useful hints on how to manage all aspects of your business a bit better.